Entrepreneur Sydney Newbill can do it all

The last eight years have proved to be some of the most important in Sydney Renae Newbill’s life as the entrepreneur has launched a career where she’s the boss, she’s run for Aberdeen City Council, and won, she runs Grays Harbor Young Professionals (GHYP), she tends bar part-time, and she got engaged to the love of her life.

And the lifetime Harborite did all that by the time she turned 26, so she’s just getting started.

Hand in glove fit

Newbill, who in 2022 opened up her wedding and event planning business Renae’s Rendezvous, spoke about what sparked her career.

“I had a couple friends who were getting married and I was helping them with the planning process and I really enjoyed it,” Newbill said. “I continued to help people plan their weddings just as a polite friend. And about two, three years ago, I had the idea to open the business and we officially opened in 2022. We’ve had a great time since. We do about 30 weddings a year, all up and down Western Washington.”

To put that number of weddings — 30 weddings in a year — into perspective, Newbill said it takes “25 to 30 hours,” to plan a traditional wedding with 100 guests. But the hours could double or triple depending on what the engaged couple needs.

“Whether it’s just management where they would kind of pull together all the details (and have) some guidance from me, or there’s full service, where I put together all the details — everything from the DJ, to the kind of plates,” Newbill said.

The events are supposed to be one of the most, if not the most, special days in a couple’s life. So, no pressure, right?

Still, people think they can plan their own wedding. Newbill shed some light on what couples should know about planning what should be one of the best days of their lives.

“I had a venue manager tell me the other day ‘everyone’s a wedding planner now,’” Newbill said. “That’s very accurate but also not accurate. Is everyone capable of planning a wedding? Sure. But it’s a lot more convoluted. I think probably the biggest thing that’s misunderstood is there are a lot more details behind the scenes.”

Newbill then spoke about why couples should seek out experts like Renae’s Rendezvous.

“If you do plan an entire celebration and you invite all of your friends and family and you don’t have someone else to be the point of contact, you end up being the point of contact,” Newbill said. “Typically that results in the day being a blur and a lack of being present, and that’s the role we try to fill more than anything.”

Being “present” and soaking up the day, taking in that first dance with mom or dad, biting into the first delicious bite of cake, sharing a cigar or a drink with the wedding party, sharing a hug with the overjoyed grandparents, is what Renae’s Rendezvous is all about.

Newbill described one instance where she was able to save a couple’s special day:

“The one that really comes to mind was the couple who completely forgot to have anything to drink other than water and tea in the middle of summer,” Newbill said. “So the DJ and I (ordered on Instacart) some soda and water. (The couple) assumed it was going to be provided rather than double-checking, and that’s all that they had, just water and tea. We had to pivot and Johnny the DJ ordered it and when it got there we got it set up. We had Diet Coke, Sprite and Coke. It was a dry wedding so they just forgot to consider anything else.”

And then there are events where she knocked it out of the park for the happy couple.

“The one that first comes to mind is the one I had at Nisqually, it went over really well,” Newbill said. “I remember the bride distinctly getting all teary-eyed when I was giving her a hug goodbye. She was really grateful for all the work we had done and how beautiful her day was.”


Mary Grubb, who’s getting married to her sweetheart Gary Lutz in June, has been meeting with Lutz and Newbill before Newbill’s bartending shifts in order to get all the details of their fabulous event right.

Grubb is a fan of Sydney, both as a person and a professional:

“She is an amazing young lady with a huge heart,” Grubb said. “I have enjoyed her planning (of) the wedding with Gary and I. She has taken a lot of the stress and all the juggling that goes into getting a wedding in order. I would recommend that if you or someone you know are getting married to definitely give her a call.”

Grubb can’t wait for her wedding.

“Our wedding is in June and I am so thrilled to have her on our wedding day,” Grubb said.

Sydney’s sage advice

Newbill spoke about three things couples should consider after the initial engagement, as far as how to proceed from there:

• If you wouldn’t have them over for dinner on Sunday, they don’t need to be on your guest list

• It’s OK to be engaged if it means you have everything you want on your wedding day

• Have everything done seven days before, at minimum, so you can rest

As far as experience goes, Newbill has it, so trust her.

Since she started helping plan weddings, she’s been part of 67 events. She’s led the planning process for a minimum of 55 events. She also planned the Eldon A. Bargewell Delta Park statue dedication and she has officiated a handful of weddings.

When she’s not busy planning weddings and other events, she’s reading up on how to make Aberdeen better on city council, she’s helping her fellow young professionals on the Harbor — including GHYP co-founder and best friend Desiree Lindgren — bridge the gap between schooling and careers, tending bar part-time, and trying to enjoy a personal life. That seems like a lot to ask of anyone. Yet, she handles it all.

How does she manage it all?

“A very strict schedule, very strict schedule,” Newbill said. “And days at the bar get cut down during summer when wedding season is busy. I don’t take client meetings unless it’s Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Every Wednesday is date night, no matter how late I get out of council.”

People might have their doubts, but if you see Newbill’s trusty phone calendar, which is a spreadsheet full of color-coded appointments she needs to handle, you’ll see she’s prepared for what lies ahead.

Her mentor

And then there was her dear friend’s loving push that got Newbill thinking about turning what she likes doing, helping friends plan their special day, into a career. She’s grateful for the words from Anne Marie Babineau, a local caterer who has provided wisdom and guidance to other business owners throughout the Harbor.

“A special shoutout should be given to Anne Marie because if she never kicked my (butt) I never would have opened this business,” Newbill said.

The push came during Newbill’s sister-in-law Jillian’s wedding. Newbill was working the event with Babineau.

“She provided me with the necessary wake up call that I didn’t need anything else,” Newbill said. “I could just get started.”

Remembering that exchange and how much it’s helped Newbill capture success, she shared a bit of advice for people who haven’t yet reached such a point in their careers.

“You want to learn how to balance your plate before you add too much,” Newbill said. “And the only thing that’s holding you back is you.”

Cody Swor

While Newbill does a lot, Cody’s support enables her to flourish.

“I truly would not be able to do half of what I do if it weren’t for Cody,” Newbill said. “He takes care of a lot of things in our day-to-day life so that I’m able to put my attention elsewhere.”

Swor’s pride for his fiancée was clear when he spoke of her.

“Sydney is one of the most determined and hardworking people I’ve ever met,” Swor said. “Once she has her mind set, nothing will stop her from achieving that goal. She is involved in so many things and she still makes it all work and fit in because she wants to make actual changes in her lifetime. If I know anything about her she will make those changes. I couldn’t be prouder of her and all she does and continues to do every day!”

Contact her

In order to contact Renae’s Rendezvous, head to — https://www.renaesrendezvous.com, email her at RenaesRendezvous@gmail.com, or call her at 360-500-3235. The business is also on Facebook, Instagram: Renaes_Rendezvous, and TikTok: @RenaesRendezvous.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.

Sydney Renae Newbill, seen here speaking at a recent Aberdeen City Council meeting, pushes herself in order to do what she can to make people's lives better. In addition to being a councilor, Newbill owns Renae's Rendezvous, a successful wedding and event planning company, tends bar part-time, runs Grays Harbor Young Professionals and does it all with a smile. (Matthew N. Wells / The Daily World)
Sydney Renae Newbill, from left, Stuart Ball, Bryce Romero, and Desiree Lindgren, were all smiles May 17, 2023 in celebration of Grays Harbor Young Professionals (GHYP) not only making it to its one-year anniversary, but thriving. In addition to GHYP, in which Newbill started with Lindgren, Newbill also owns and runs her own wedding and event planning business, Renae's Rendezvous, is an Aberdeen city councilor and a part-time bartender. (Matthew N. Wells / The Daily World)